As a music lover with a special interest in its application in games, Bogost’s chapter on music is important to me. Before I had even read the text I figured he would talk about games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and how games that are directly about playing music can affect the player through tuning one’s ear to become a better listener, but when I had finished the chapter I immediately checked the publication date because there was some points discussed and I feel an important game was left out that only came out recently. The game is called Rocksmith, and it is a game that uses a real guitar, and actually teaches you to play by playing along with your favorite songs, in a similar fashion to the aforementioned games, but uses the real notes to the song.
I have not played this game myself, however, we already know that games can be used to teach without it being a hassle. Learning an instrument is a difficult thing, and because its so hard to pick up, people get frustrated and give up on it entirely. Games can take away the frustration and monotony of playing essential exercises such as scales up and down all day by adding things like reward systems and visuals like progress bars where the player can actually see how far he’s come along. I’d imagine that these games can be created for many other instruments as well, especially anything electric that can plug right into the console the way Rocksmith does. At the end of the chapter, Bogost wraps it all up, writing, “Altogether, plastic guitar, rhythm stylus, and visualizer remind us that music and games share a fundamental property: both are playable , offering their listeners and operators an expressive experience within the framework of melody and rhythm.” (36). This is truly the most important thing, in my opinion, that attracts players to these games, which is their expressive outlet. By adding actual musical practice and experience, these games can actually be pretty useful and enjoyable.